Celsus divided the work into two sections, the one in which objections are put in the mouth of a Jewish interlocutor and the other in which Celsus speaks as the pagan philosopher that he is. Let us now see on what grounds Celsus urges us to make use of the idol offerings and the public sacrifices in the public feasts. [15][16] In addition, Celsus addressed the miracles of Jesus, holding that "Jesus performed his miracles by sorcery (γοητεία)":[17][18][19], O light and truth! Let no one come to us who has been instructed, or who is wise or prudent (for such qualifications are deemed evil by us); but if there be any ignorant, or unintelligent, or uninstructed, or foolish persons, let them come with confidence. CELSUS 4 arguments against Christianity Misty Fleming Paper 1 The first of 4 arguments I believe to be of importance is that of the virgin birth. Let us see what Celsus further says of God, and how he urges us to the use of those things which are properly called idol offerings, or, still better, offerings to demons, although, in his ignorance of what true sanctity is, and what sacrifices are well-pleasing to God, he call them "holy sacrifices." To this our answer is, that we do, when occasion requires, give help to kings, and that, so to say, a divine help, "putting on the whole armour of God." "[25] Celsus shows himself familiar with the story of Jewish origins. On the contrary to what the Christian religion believes Celsus says that Jesus was born to a mother who was a spinner, and his legitimate father a Roman soldier, Panthera (Celsus pg. It is generally supposed that Celsus was a Roman. [13][14], Celsus writes that "there is an ancient doctrine [archaios logos] which has existed from the beginning, which has always been maintained by the wisest nations and cities and wise men". [30] It is not known how many were Christians at the time of Celsus (the Jewish population of the empire may have been about 6.6-10% in a population of 60 million to quote one reference). Related. And to those enemies of our faith who require us to bear arms for the commonwealth, and to slay men, we can reply: "Do not those who are priests at certain shrines, and those who attend on certain gods, as you account them, keep their hands free from blood, that they may with hands unstained and free from human blood offer the appointed sacrifices to your gods; and even when war is upon you, you never enlist the priests in the army. Celsus was a Greek writer in the second century who criticized Christianity as a threat to the stable communities and worldview that the "pagan" religious and social system sought to uphold. Celsus also urges us to "take office in the government of the country, if that is required for the maintenance of the laws and the support of religion." He wrote that some Jews said Jesus' father was actually a Roman soldier named Pantera. One of the highlights of that time period is the vibrant interaction between Christians and their critics. Übersetzt und erklärt von Horacio E. Lona. Celsus Arguments Against Christianity Essay 1677 Words | 7 Pages. He asserts, "We see, indeed, in private houses workers in wool and leather, and fullers, and persons of the most uninstructed and rustic character, not venturing to utter a word in the presence of their elders and wiser masters; but when they get hold of the children privately, and certain women as ignorant as themselves, they pour forth wonderful statements, to the effect that they ought not to give heed to their father and to their teachers, but should obey them; that the former are foolish and stupid, and neither know nor can perform anything that is really good, being preoccupied with empty trifles; that they alone know how men ought to live, and that, if the children obey them, they will both be happy themselves, and will make their home happy also. This second century opponent of Christianity argued against the Christian idea of a divine creation of man. If they refuse to render due service to the gods, and to respect those who are set over this service, let them not come to manhood, or marry wives, or have children, or indeed take any share in the affairs of life; but let them depart hence with all speed, and leave no posterity behind them, that such a race may become extinct from the face of the earth. Instead, he was an "inclusive" or "qualitative" monotheist, as opposed to the Jewish "exclusive" or "quantitative" monotheism;[6] historian Wouter Hanegraaff explains that "the former has room for a hierarchy of lower deities which do not detract from the ultimate unity of the One. 22$ tation by Origen, who in the latter part of his life2 under took the task of replying to Celsus at the request of his friend Ambrose.3 With great reluctance Origen took up the work. Main Article Primary Sources (1) Celsus, On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians (c. 175) Christianity is for hysterical women, children and idiots. But we recognise in each state the existence of another national organization founded by the Word of God, and we exhort those who are mighty in word and of blameless life to rule over Churches. Instead, Celsus insisted that the men and animals had a common origin. Celsus's own beliefs, the "true doctrine" referenced in his title, is that of Platonism which from a modern materialist perspective has its own issues of supernatural and thus … However, Celsus' harshest criticism was reserved for Christians, who "wall themselves off and break away from the rest of mankind". When it was time for Mary to give birth she and her husband set off to His words are, "God is the God of all alike; He is good, He stands in need of nothing, and He is without jealousy. he distinctly declares, with his own voice, as ye yourselves have recorded, that there will come to you even others, employing miracles of a similar kind, who are wicked men, and sorcerers; and Satan. Celsus goes on to describe Christian practices as derivative of pagan, Jewish, and other foreign cultures. Celsus next makes certain observations of the following nature: "Again, if God, like Jupiter in the comedy, should, on awaking from a lengthened slumber, desire to rescue the human race from evil, why did He send this Spirit of which you speak into one corner (of the earth)? [23][24], Biblical scholar Arthur J. Droge has written that it is incorrect to refer to Celsus' perspective as polytheism. As an anti-Christian Greek philosopher, Celsus mounted an attack on Christianity. Celsus goes on to say: "We must not disobey the ancient writer [Homer], who said long ago, 'Let one be king, whom the son of crafty Saturn appointed ;'" and adds: "If you set aside this maxim, you will deservedly suffer for it at the hands of the king. And as we by our prayers vanquish all demons who stir up war, and lead to the violation of oaths, and disturb the peace, we in this way are much more helpful to the kings than those who go into the field to fight for them. Jesus claims to be born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem. However, a good God would not have created an evil which would “threaten to destroy his own offspring.”. Celsus condemned the Christians for gathering in secret in order to practice, and. 2005 (, This page was last edited on 21 December 2020, at 21:23. Celsus wrote that some Jews said Jesus' father was a Roman soldier named Pantera. 57). The book was suppressed by the growing Christian community,[8] and banned in 448 AD by order of Valentinian III and Theodosius II, along with Porphyry's 15 books attacking the Christians, The Philosophy from Oracles, so no complete copies are extant,[4][5] but it can be reconstructed from Origen's detailed account of it in his 8 volume refutation, which quotes Celsus extensively. It was written between about 175 and 177, shortly after the death of Justin Martyr(who was possibly the … Celsus anticipated the objections that have been raised by modern rationalists and evolutionists. [6], Celsus initiated a critical attack on Christianity, ridiculing many of its dogmas. Celsus had warned that Christianity itself was drawing people away from traditional religion and claimed that its growth would lead to a collapse of traditional, conservative values. Or, on the other hand, if they will take wives, and bring up children, and taste of the fruits of the earth, and partake of all the blessings of life, and bear its appointed sorrows (for nature herself hath allotted sorrows to all men; for sorrows must exist, and earth is the only place for them), then must they discharge the duties of life until they are released from its bonds, and render due honour to those beings who control the affairs of this life, if they would not show themselves ungrateful to them. 57). Fast forward to 2019, nearly 1,900 years later and Celsus … Celsus on the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians: Celsus: Amazon.com.mx: Libros Celsus believes that most of world cultures and … And such an arrangement appears to be advantageous, not only because it has occurred to the mind of other nations to decide some things differently, but also because it is a duty to protect what has been established for the public advantage; and also because, in all probability, the various quarters of the earth were from the beginning allotted to different superintending spirits, and were thus distributed among certain governing powers, and in this manner the administration of the world is carried on. It is the nature of a mortal, indeed, to undergo change and remoulding, but of an immortal to remain the same and unaltered. Perhaps the most famous… It seemed as if it ere common knowledge the transgressions that Jesus mother had committed with the Roman. Celsus was a Greek philosopher and one of the first people to write a critical treatise on Christianity. If that, then, is a laudable custom, how much more so, that while others are engaged in battle, these too should engage as the priests and ministers of God, keeping their hands pure, and wrestling in prayers to God on behalf of those who are fighting in a righteous cause, and for the king who reigns righteously, that whatever is opposed to those who act righteously may be destroyed!" And we do take our part in public affairs, when along with righteous prayers we join self-denying exercises and meditations, which teach us to despise pleasures, and not to be led away by them. They take charge of all--of those that are within, that they may day by day lead better lives, and of those that are without, that they may come to abound in holy words and in deeds of piety; and that, while thus worshipping God truly, and training up as many as they can in the same way, they may be filled with the word of God and the law of God, and thus be united with the Supreme God through His Son the Word, Wisdom, Truth, and Righteousness, who unites to God all who are resolved to conform their lives in all things to the law of God. | download | Z-Library. And it is not for the purpose of escaping public duties that Christians decline public offices, but that they may reserve themselves for a diviner and more necessary service in the Church of God--for the salvation of men. What hindrance does this offer to the knowledge of God? We do not indeed fight under him, although he require it; but we fight on his behalf, forming a special army--an army of piety--by offering our prayers to God. The first critique that is offered by Celsus is the secrecy of Christians. [6], Celsus was the author of a work titled On The True Doctrine (Logos Alēthēs). But let us look at what Celsus next with great ostentation announces in the following fashion: "And again," he says, "let us resume the subject from the beginning, with a larger array of proofs. Further, Celsus argues that Christian doctrine twisted the Greek concept of immortality of the soul into the resurrection. God is good, and beautiful, and blessed, and that in the best and most beautiful degree. Yet he further criticizes Christian practices as alien, and by extension, a threat to traditional Roman culture. His words are, "If these idols are nothing, what harm will there be in taking part in the feast? After this it is superfluous for us to wish to offer a reply to such statements of Celsus as the following: "For why is it an evil to have been educated, and to have studied the best opinions, and to have both the reality and appearance of wisdom? [3] On The True Doctrine is the earliest known comprehensive criticism of Christianity. And none fight better for the king than we do. Celsus wrote his work True Discourse(or, True Reason) as a polemic against the Christians in approximately 178 CE. And I make no new statement, but say what has been long settled. It was said that Jesus was born to a virgin and God himself. [3] It was written between about 175[6] and 177,[7] shortly after the death of Justin Martyr (who was possibly the first Christian apologist), and was probably a response to his work. Since accuracy was essential to his refutation of The True Doctrine,[22] most scholars agree that Origen is a reliable source for what Celsus said. Sometimes quoting, sometimes paraphrasing, sometimes merely referring, Origen reproduces and replies to Celsus' arguments. Highly critical of several specific facts in Christian theology, the philosopher sought to unravel the religion by pulling at the errors he saw. Download books for free. Origen considered this a fabricated story. All the issues involved are still highly relevant. The excellent reconstruction and translation, together with a perfect introduction, by R. Joseph Hoffmann, reads like a modern text. [26][clarification needed] Conceding that Christians are not without success in business (infructuosi in negotiis), Celsus wants them to be good citizens, to retain their own belief but worship the emperors and join their fellow citizens in defending the empire. On The True Doctrine is the earliest known comprehensive criticism of Christianity. Who, then, would make choice of such a change? A Discourse Against the Christians | Celsus, R. Joseph Hoffman (transl.) Celsus's tract `On the True Doctrine - A Discourse Against the Christians' could be partly recovered from the treatise by Origin of Alexandria `Contra Celsum'. The 2nd-century pagan philosopher Celsus is less dogmatic in his attacks on Christianity: the Christian miracles are insufficiently attested and most improbable, but, even if they were genuine, they could hardly offset the miracles of the pagan world—e.g., the healings of Asclepius. [12] Origen indicates that Celsus was an Epicurean living under the Emperor Hadrian. He wrote, “Christians entered into secret associations with each other contrary to law” (Celsus 1.1). After these points Celsus quotes some objections against the doctrine of Jesus, made by a very few individuals who are considered Christians, not of the more intelligent, as he supposes, but of the more ignorant class, and asserts that "the following are the rules laid down by them. [1][2][3] He is known for his literary work, On The True Doctrine (or Discourse, Account, Word; Hellenistic Greek: Λόγος Ἀληθής, Logos Alēthēs),[4][5] which survives exclusively in quotations from it in Contra Celsum, a refutation written in 248 by Origen of Alexandria. In the next place, Celsus urges us "to help the king with all our might, and to labour with him in the maintenance of justice, to fight for him; and if he requires it, to fight under him, or lead an army along with him." Celsus Excerpt from the Lexham Bible Dictionary , the most advanced Bible dictionary. θής, Logos Alēthēs), which survives exclusively in quotations from it in Contra Celsum, a refutation written in 248 by Origen of Alexandria. ocr-64 p-64 224 THE ATTACK OF CELSUS ON CHRISTIANITY. Celsus views Christianity as, thus, a conspicuous and obnoxious species of internal flight from the order and reality of the great civic world, so that one will likely find its adherents skulking, rodent- or worm-like, in the dark corners of the worldly house. [20][21], Origen wrote his refutation in 248. The first point in Celsus’ argument against the biblical truth is the origin of the Jewish people and Christian faith. Celsus felt the doctrine of the resurrection was based on an incorrect interpretation of reincarnation. Jesus claims to be born of a virgin in the town of Bethlehem. Celsus' writing is one of the few writings made in response to christian claims that survives today in any form; the church, beginning with its first alliances with Roman power in Constantine's time, never took criticisms lightly; anyone with the audacity to question their claims was branded a "heretic," and their books were banned and burned, often alongside their authors. Let us next notice the statements of Celsus, which follow the preceding, and which are as follow: "As the Jews, then, became a peculiar people, and enacted laws in keeping with the customs of their country, and maintain them up to the present time, and observe a mode of worship which, whatever be its nature, is yet derived from their fathers, they act in these respects like other men, because each nation retains its ancestral customs, whatever they are, if they happen to be established among them. [31], https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Celsus&oldid=995585595, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1911 Encyclopaedia Britannica with Wikisource reference, Articles containing Hellenistic Greek-language text, Wikipedia articles needing clarification from February 2018, Articles incorporating a citation from the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia with Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia, Wikipedia articles incorporating a citation from the 1906 Jewish Encyclopedia without a Wikisource reference, Wikipedia articles with CANTIC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SELIBR identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SNAC-ID identifiers, Wikipedia articles with SUDOC identifiers, Wikipedia articles with Trove identifiers, Wikipedia articles with WORLDCATID identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Die »Wahre Lehre« des Kelsos. Captured by Marie-Lan Nguyen / Wikimedia Commons Most people are at least somewhat familiar with Jesus’ miracles as described in the Bible. Information on Celsus. One such early exchange took place between the church father Origen and a Greek philosopher named Celsus. CELSUS 4 arguments against Christianity Misty Fleming Paper 1 The first of 4 arguments I believe to be of importance is that of the virgin birth. Celsus warned that Christianity could have disastrous effects for civic life-namely that Christians did not have the common good of all people in mind and that their reliance on superstition instead of reason would set mankind back. Celsus had written a critique of Christianity called The True Word, and Origen was asked to respond to his charges. Celsus Christianity Previous answers to this question 19: 12 3 2 0 2 Based on the reading of Celsus On the True Doctrine, choose 4 arguments of Celsus against the Christianity that best represent Roman and/or philosophical world-views and values. On the contrary to what the Christian religion believes Celsus says that Jesus was born to a mother who was a spinner, and his legitimate father a Roman soldier, Panthera (Celsus pg. Celsus On the True Doctrine. The work of Celsus has been saved through its refu1 Xrj fa \6yos. Celsus chided the Christians for rejecting the traditional gods on one hand and then worshipping a mere man on the other. [29] As for their opinions regarding their sacred mission and exclusive holiness, Celsus responds by deriding their insignificance, comparing them to a swarm of bats, or ants creeping out of their nest, or frogs holding a symposium round a swamp, or worms in conventicle in a corner of the mud. But nearly all we know of it (up to 90 percent of the original) is included in Origen of Alexandria’s Contra Celsum (“Against Celsus”). And this service is at once necessary and right. However, few are aware that extrabiblical texts also cite a supernatural aspect of Jesus’ ministry. And if those who govern in the Church, and are called rulers of the divine nation--that is, the Church--rule well, they rule in accordance with the divine commands, and never suffer themselves to be led astray by worldly policy. Those who are ambitious of ruling we reject; but we constrain those who, through excess of modesty, are not easily induced to take a public charge in the Church of God. [27] It is an earnest and striking appeal on behalf of unity and mutual toleration. Verlag Herder, Freiburg u.a. For he has himself acknowledged that these are not the works of a divine nature, but the inventions of certain deceivers, and of thoroughly wicked men. Origen wrote Contra Celsum at the request of his patron, a wealthy Christian named Ambrose, who insisted that a Christian needed to write a response to Celsus. So that Jesus himself does not deny that these works at least are not at all divine, but are the acts of wicked men; and being compelled by the force of truth, he at the same time not only laid open the doings of others, but convicted himself of the same acts. 1), hrsg. Celsus's late second century "On the True Doctrine: A Discourse Against the Christians," is one of the most remarkable and thorough-going arguments ever written against the core beliefs and practices of Christianity, ancient or modern. He is one of several writers named Celsus who appeared as opponents of Christianity in the second century; he is probably the Celsus who was known as a friend of Lucian, although some doubt this, because Lucian's friend was an Epicurean, and the author of the "True Discourse" shows himself a Platonist. This was the standard pattern of many… Read More Find books But if he come down among men, he must undergo a change, and a change from good to evil, from virtue to vice, from happiness to misery, and from best to worst. Celsus’s most famous literary work The True Word is now lost. But as Celsus delights to heap up calumnies against us, and, in addition to those which he has already uttered, has added others, let us examine these also, and see whether it be the Christians or Celsus who have reason to be ashamed of what is said. Celsus's work may be divided as follows: a preface, an attack on Christianity from the point of view of Judaism, an attack on Christianity from the point of view of philosophy, a refutation of Christian teachings in detail, and an appeal to Christians to adopt paganism. He ought to have breathed it alike into many bodies, and have sent them out into all the world. [28] Celsus attacks the Christians as feeding off faction and disunity, and accuses them of converting the vulgar and ignorant, while refusing to debate wise men. Indians, Persians, Odrysians, Samothracians, Eleusinians, Hyperboreans, Galactophagoi, Druids, and Getae), and instead blames Moses for the corruption of the ancient religion: "the goatherds and shepherds who followed Moses as their leader were deluded by clumsy deceits into thinking that there was only one God, [and] without any rational cause ... these goatherds and shepherds abandoned the worship of many gods". His logic is that if there is evil in the world, and the world is itself God’s creation, then God must have created evil. It was said that Jesus was born to a virgin and God himself. [11] Celsus wrote at a time when Christianity was being persecuted. We shall now proceed to the next statement of Celsus, and examine it with care: "If in obedience to the traditions of their fathers they abstain from such victims, they must also abstain from all animal food, in accordance with the opinions of Pythagoras, who thus showed his respect for the soul and its bodily organs. Show More. One of Celsus' most bitter complaints is of the refusal of Christians to cooperate with civil society, and their contempt for local customs and the ancient religions. Is it not, then, a miserable inference, to conclude from the same works that the one is God and the other sorcerers? CELSUS (c. A.D. 178), an eclectic Platonist and opponent of Christianity known mainly through the reputation of his work, The True Word (or Account; aX r1Ot s Xh yos), brought to light in 248 by Origen who in his Against Celsus quotes, paraphrases and reproduces about nine-tenths of it. And this we do in obedience to the injunction of the apostle, "I exhort, therefore, that first of all, supplications, prayers, intercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men; for kings, and for all that are in authority;" and the more any one excels in piety, the more effective help does he render to kings, even more than is given by soldiers, who go forth to fight and slay as many of the enemy as they can. Celsus (/ˈsɛlsəs/; Hellenistic Greek: Κέλσος, Kélsos) was a 2nd-century Greek philosopher and opponent of early Christianity. 19th Century engraving of Flavius Josephus by William Whiston Bust of 2nd Century Philosopher. Celsus presents Jews and Christians as descendants of the rebellion against ancient peoples, who held and practiced an ancient A second-century Roman philosopher credited with producing the first extensive written attack on the Christian faith . Reihe: Kommentar zu frühchristlichen Apologeten (KfA, Suppl.-Vol. [4][7] Origen's work has survived and thereby preserved Celsus' work with it. Why ought the others, because of these acts, to be accounted wicked rather than this man, seeing they have him as their witness against himself? [9], Celsus seems to have been interested in Ancient Egyptian religion,[10] and he seemed to know of Hellenistic Jewish logos-theology, both of which suggest The True Doctrine was composed in Alexandria. His work as a whole has been lost, but when the third century theologian Origen sought to answer Celsus' charges in a work appropriately called Against Celsus, he preserved most of Celsus' criticisms. But since he says, in addition to this, "What is this preference of sinners over others?" The Christians viewed these as idolatrous and inspired by evil spirits, whereas polytheists like Celsus thought of them as the works of the Daemons, or the god's ministers, who ruled mankind in his place to keep him from the pollution of mortality. And while thus speaking, if they see one of the instructors of youth approaching, or one of the more intelligent class, or even the father himself, the more timid among them become afraid, while the more forward incite the children to throw off the yoke, whispering that in the presence of father and teachers they neither will nor can explain to them any good thing, seeing they turn away with aversion from the silliness and stupidity of such persons as being altogether corrupt, and far advanced in wickedness, and such as would inflict punishment upon them; but that if they wish (to avail themselves of their aid,) they must leave their father and their instructors, and go with the women and their playfellows to the women's apartments, or to the leather shop, or to the fuller's shop, that they may attain to perfection;--and by words like these they gain them over.". It seemed as if it ere common knowledge the transgressions that Jesus mother had committed with the Roman. And those who rule over us well are under the constraining influence of the great King, whom we believe to be the Son of God, God the Word. Celsus goes on to say: "They must make their choice between two alternatives. The remarks which we have made not only answer the statements of Celsus regarding the superintending spirits, but anticipate in some measure what he afterwards brings forward, when he says: "Let the second party come forward; and I shall ask them whence they come, and whom they regard as the originator of their ancestral customs. He leaves Jews and Moses out of those he cites (Egyptians, Syrians, Celsus’s charge touches on the so-called problem of evil. v. N. Brox, K. Niederwimmer, H. E. Lona, F. R. Prostmeier, J. Ulrich. Celsus wrote at a time when Christianity was being persecuted and when there seems to have been more than one emperor. Frühchristlichen Apologeten ( KfA, Suppl.-Vol Jesus claims to be born of a virgin and himself! 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